The market for Kidult or adults with interests traditionally seen as suitable for children is a KRW 500 billion market in South Korea in 2013. The popular kidult products include Gundam, drones, remote controlled cars and plastic models.
In Malaysia, the manifestation of kidults are the Ultramans, plastic die-cast model tanks, planes and helicopter collections, Doraemon, Hello Kitty as well as the Tesco “Heroes And Friends” figurines. The “Heroes and Friends” figures are not only collected by kids but also by adults with a strong interest in Marvel action figures.
One of the most interesting aspect of kidult is adults have the spending power and are willing to skip food and other purchases in order to buy their favourite collection. When the Helicopter collection first appeared in the market in 2014, some of the collectors who have been collecting the Fighter Plane and Combat Tank collections said “here we go again….”, an expression of the difficulty to control themselves not to collect the Helicopter collection. This makes the kidult market a recession-proof business as collectors will somehow find ways to purchase their favourite toys. The implication to FMCG and retailers is to tap into these kidults as there are money to be made from collectibles.